Restraining orders are a common legal tool used to protect victims of domestic violence. However, they can also be misused or unfairly applied, leading to serious consequences for the accused. In this blog post, we will discuss the basics of restraining orders in domestic violence cases, common defenses against them, and how a skilled criminal defense attorney can help you navigate this complex legal issue.
What is a Restraining Order?
A restraining order, also known as a protective order, is a court order that prohibits an individual from contacting or coming within a certain distance of another person. In domestic violence cases, restraining orders are often used to protect the alleged victim from further abuse or harassment.
There are different types of restraining orders, including:
- Emergency Protective Order (EPO): Issued by law enforcement officers, this temporary order is designed to provide immediate protection to the victim. It typically lasts for 5-7 days.
- Temporary Restraining Order (TRO): This short-term order is issued by a judge, usually without the accused being present in court. It can last up to 25 days.
- Permanent Restraining Order (PRO): This long-term order is issued after a court hearing where both parties are present. It can last up to 5 years and can be renewed if necessary.
Common Defenses Against Restraining Orders
There are several defenses that can be used to fight a restraining order in a domestic violence case. Some of the most common defenses include:
- Lack of Evidence: The petitioner must provide evidence to support their claim of domestic violence. If the evidence is insufficient or unreliable, the restraining order may be denied or dismissed.
- Mutual Restraining Order: If both parties engaged in abusive behavior, the court may issue a mutual restraining order, which applies to both individuals.
- False Allegations: Unfortunately, false allegations of domestic violence are not uncommon. If you can prove that the allegations are false, the restraining order may be dismissed.
- Consent to Contact: If the alleged victim consented to contact with the accused, it may be a valid defense against the restraining order.
- Expiration: Restraining orders have an expiration date. If the order has expired, it is no longer enforceable.
How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
If you are facing a restraining order in a domestic violence case, it is crucial to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. At the Law Office of John W. Noonan, we have extensive experience in defending against restraining orders in domestic violence cases. Our team can help you by:
- Reviewing the evidence against you and building a strong defense strategy
- Representing you in court and advocating for your rights
- Negotiating with the petitioner and their attorney to potentially reach a resolution without the need for a court hearing
- Assisting with the process of modifying or terminating a restraining order if circumstances change
Defending against a restraining order in a domestic violence case can be a daunting and overwhelming experience. It is essential to have a knowledgeable and skilled attorney on your side to protect your rights and help you navigate the complex legal process. Contact the Law Office of John W. Noonan today to discuss your case and learn how we can help you.